For the first time ever, Sequoia Capital, Google Ventures and Salesforce.com have invested in the same company. That company is HubSpot, which offers all-in-one inbound marketing software to over 4,000 businesses.
So what does that mean to the digital marketing community, and why should you care?
Let’s begin with the investors and who they are.
- Sequoia Capital invests in companies that make wonderful products or deliver a service that thrills large numbers of customers. It’s portfolio of companies come from many sectors: energy, financial, healthcare, internet, mobile, outsourcing, and technology.
- Google Ventures is the venture capital arm of Google Inc. It looks at companies in a wide variety of sectors and stages. Most importantly, it invests in people and the companies in its portfolio are all made up of teams of ambitious, bold, passionate entrepreneurs, who are as excited about building disruptive companies and technologies as we are.
- Salesforce.com is the enterprise cloud computing company that has transformed the way companies collaborate and communicate. Salesforce.com is leading the effort to bring Cloud 2, the next paradigm for computing, to the enterprise by offering its customers the social collaboration, mobility and openness that are the hallmark of this new world.
Now let’s look briefly at HubSpot. Founded in June of 2006, the company offers a fully integrated inbound marketing software that includes tools for blogging, landing pages, lead nurturing, marketing analytics, content management, social media, SEO, CRM integration, email marketing, and more. It currently has over 4,000 small and medium sized companies using its software to generate traffic and leads through their websites, and converting these leads in to paying customers.
What the Investment Says about Inbound Marketing
This investment is more than good news for HubSpot. It’s a resounding endorsement by 3 major industry leaders in the concept of inbound marketing. They are betting that the future of marketing for businesses will be (and already is) inbound (Google, blogs, social media, mobile, etc.) rather than outbound (cold calls, email blasts, and direct mail) – otherwise known as interruption marketing.
- Inbound marketing “thrills” those who use it successfully.
- Inbound marketing disrupts the old way of doing business.
- Inbound marketing transforms the way companies perceive and engage their customers.
Impact on HubSpot Users
The investment by Salesforce.com signals the possibility of deep level integration of HubSpot’s marketing platform with Salesforce.com. Brent Leary, co-founder and partner of CRM Essentials, gave one example – the creation of a Chatter feed from website activity on HubSpot. He also imagined the potential HubSpot integration “with a variety of Google applications to move from lead generation to real-time collaboration opportunities at the moment of interest.”
Forrester analyst Shar VanBoskirk thinks that Google wants to expand its reach into marketing budgets of small companies, many of whom currently use mostly local search. She thinks that this investment is eveidence of Google’s expanding priorities.
Google Ventures Partner, Rich Miner (co-founder of Android) said, “We agree with HubSpot’s belief that search engines, social media, and mobile devices have fundamentally changed how businesses should market themselves. We’re thrilled to support their efforts to help thousands of small and medium businesses reach potential customers.”
HubSpot plans to take this support and invest much of it in R&D. Says Brian Halligan, CEO of HubSpot, “We want to further delight our customers and count on them to spread the word. We feel like this is the right approach in today’s transparent world. On the application side we will make it faster, richer and better. We will also open the entire product up into a platform by providing a clean and simple API.”
Sequoia Capital pointed out that “HubSpot is the emerging category leader in the SaaS marketing sector. Their customer base exceeds that of all the other relevant marketing software companies combined, including Eloqua, Marketo, Genius, and Manticore.” This investment will only mean that HubSpot continues to lead in this category, offering more integrated features in its easy-to-use platform.
Incidentally, we won HubSpot partner of the year 2010 from having the highest Customer Happiness Index (CHI) and customer acquisition scores. What that means is that our clients who use HubSpot are exceeding their goals.
If you are interested in finding out more about HubSpot and inbound marketing, we’re happy to help you. Just contact us and we’ll give you free inbound marketing assessment and a personal tour of HubSpot’s software platform and how you can increase your leads and sales with HubSpot.